6th Fan Blogger: A Look Back - 5/6/10

May 6, 2010
Jake LeRoy

What This Season Meant to Me

When I first took over this gig, the Bucks were six games below .500 and were 11-22 in their last 33 games. For most Bucks fans, including myself, the season was unfolding like most of the many seasons that came before it. High hopes and a strong start were commonly followed by a rash of injuries and the subsequent season-killing slump. This was a well-worn path that my fragile state as a Bucks fan was not ready to traverse again.

But then something happened, something foreign to me, something completely unexpected. The Bucks found their stride and started clicking. And they've done this before, running off nice little four-game stretches here and there, instilling small pockets of hope within the fanbase. But that four-game stretch soon turned into an eight-game stretch, and then a 16-game stretch, and then a 32-game stretch. Before I could even fully realize what was happening, Milwaukee finished the regular season on a 27-11 run that propelled it into the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

My body had practically become conditioned to 26- and 34-win seasons. Then along came the 2009-10 Bucks with their team chemistry, stellar defense and 46-win regular season. The strong finish left me with this feeling of happiness and satisfaction about Milwaukee's season. This was such a strange way to feel following the conclusion of the regular season that my body practically rejected these emotions. What was this feeling of contentment? How did it get here?

The pessimist in me had not been fully exorcised, though. I thought the injury to Andrew Bogut would surely result in another four- or five-game lambasting in the first round. I told myself and others around me that I would be happy with just one win. Thankfully, the Bucks didn't share my low aspirations. Instead, they continued to defy the odds by bouncing back from two subpar performances to open the postseason with three of their finest games of the season. While the season ended on a disappointing note, the damage had been done. The Bucks took my fragile state, massaged it, gave it some words of encouragement and prepped it for what hopefully will turn into a long-standing date with the playoffs.

So what has this season meant to me? For the first time in a long time, I'm going into next season with more hope than prayer. I've spent past offseasons praying that the ping-pong balls would fall the right way, praying that the Bucks would somehow luck their way into the franchise savior, praying that one of the top free agents would miraculously take a ridiculous discount to play in Milwaukee. While I'm still excited to see what the draft and free agency will bring, I now know that the Bucks don't need any of the things above in order to be successful.

The 2009-10 edition of the Milwaukee Bucks has provided me with a feeling of hope. I haven't felt this good about this franchise since I was gallivanting around my college dormitory during the 2001 playoffs with my Milwaukee Bucks foam finger securely applied to my right hand. I honesty wasn't sure I'd ever feel this way about this team ever again. I was at the end of my rope. But then John Hammond extended that rope another couple of feet. Scott Skiles lengthened it a few more feet, John Salmons a few more and Brandon Jennings a few more. Now, I have more rope than I know what to do with.

Hope can come and go at a moment's notice. It can be a fleeting emotion. When you have it, though, there's little else that can trump it. It's one of the greatest feelings in the world, and I couldn't be happier that the Bucks have served it up to me on a platinum platter with a golden bow.

Work hard. Play hard. Type hard.

Note: These are the views of the 6th Fan Blogger. Thoughts and opinions expressed in this articles are not necessarily the views of the Milwaukee Bucks.